Difference between STD and Herpes

 Growing up, I always wanted to be a medic. I was so touched by the health conditions of people, especially in their sick bed.

But my parents wouldn't let me be. You see, our parents always have a dream that they want us to achieve for them. It is in that dream where their pride lies.

Recently a group of friend challenged me to pursue a second Bachelors courses in medicine. I boldly told them off. It was already too late.

I am already engaged in other community services, helping the needy and vulnerable children. I find joy in dealing with the community. It is a nice feeling of creating a change in society.

One of the things we handle is the creation of awareness is Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

Such a nice topic!

But wait, a group of young Children approached me in one of our open field training and asked me the difference between STDs and Herpes.

I looked at them in the eye and smiled. What a tactical question! I gave them a simple response that I felt they could easily understand.

But now, let me provide a detailed response to this question that appears to be disturbing many of us.

What is STD? 

STD is an abbreviation for Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

And what is Herpes?

Herpes is sexually transmitted diseases.

what is the difference between STD and Herpes?


The difference between Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and Herpes is so simple.

STD is a mechanism. It is a general term for a group of diseases with a common cause.

Herpes is a group virus that attacks the human body. There are different types of Herpes that include Herpes simplex and genital Herpes.

Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are transferred from one sexual partner to another. STD and herpes are all caused through involvement in sexual intercourse.

So, we would be right to say that Herpes is one of the STDs. You can visit any STD testing near me centers to get tested for any of the STDs.

And what is more?

Statistics have shown that more than 50% of the people living in the United States have Herpes simplex. Also, around 15.5% of people living in the United States between the ages of 14-49 have acquired genital Herpes.

You can also acquire Herpes through oral sex, unlike many of the other STDs. Also, there are two categories of Herpes symptoms; the primary infection symptoms and recurrent infection symptoms.

 herpes Primary Infections symptoms

The Herpes primary infections symptoms occur at the first infection. It is advisable that you seek immediate medical attention whenever you observe any of these symptoms:

  • Blisters or ulcerations on your external private parts, in the areas around the vagina or the cervix. Blisters and ulcerations are signs of herpes virus infection in the vagina.
  • Vaginal discharge- The unusual vaginal discharge that has a disgusting smell could also be a sign of herpes virus infection.
  • Pain and itching in the vaginal areas- a person who feels pain and continuous itches in the vaginal area or near the cervix could also be a victim of herpes virus infection. You are advised to seek medical attention before the situation worsens.
  • Pain when Urinating- The herpes virus sometime create wounds and sores in the vaginal walls. The sores and wounds might be painful when you are urinating.
  • Red blisters on the skin- unusual blisters on your skin could also be an indication of herpes infection in the body.
  • Fever- Herpes infection also makes you feel a lot of cold. The infections interfere with your body temperatures within a very short time.
  • Cold sores around the mouth- Oral sex can introduce herpes virus into your mouth. Avoid oral sex as much as you can. It could create cold sores in the areas around your mouth.

In the recurrent stage, Herpes infections might show further symptoms. You need to understand that these symptoms are not a confirmation for infections.

It is important that you seek medical attention at any STD and Herpes testing centre near you.

Failure to seek testing and medical attention might make the situation to worsen.

In the next stage, the symptoms might include:

  • Red blisters- The red blisters in the initial stage continue to spread in the body. The pain that come with blisters, however, reduces.
  • Cold sores around the mount- The sores might expand to include a larger area. Like with the blisters, the pain might reduce for recurrent symptoms.
  • More blisters and ulceration at the cervix and the vagina for ladies- the number of blisters might continue. At this stage, there is little pain. Medical attention helps to prevents further spread of the blisters.
  • Burning or tingling near the cervical blisters - You might experience burnings or ingles around the blisters. It is however short lived.

You might have realized that while STDs would have general characteristics, Herpes has very specific symptoms and durations for appearance.

Independent symptoms cannot be used to confirm Herpes infections. You might need to go for testing to confirm the infection that has caused these symptoms on you.

Also, Herpes infections has specific causes that include:

  • Unprotect vaginal or anal sex
  • Oral sex with an infected person
  • Sharing sex toys with an infected person
  • Having genital contacts with an infected person.

Doctors and other medics have not had a cure for Herpes. Mostly, they might prescribe antiviral drugs to contain the infections.

Other treatment methods of Herpes involve:

  • Taking painkillers to relieve the pains from blisters around the vagina and cervical areas.
  • Taking a shower in salty water also reduces the pains
  • Using a warm sitz bath
  • Using petroleum jelly to contain the blisters
  • Avoiding the use of tight clothes especially in the areas with the blisters
  • Washing the body thoroughly after touching the areas with blisters or wounds
  • Abstaining from further sexual activities until the blisters are treated.
  • In cases where the urinary tract is affected, apply a jelly before urinating.

It is good to understand that Herpes virus cause two infections; Herpes simplex and Genital Herpes.

STDs are commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse. The prevention of Herpes infections and other STDs depend on the way in which we engage in sexual intercourse. Protected sex prevents you from acquiring Herpes or any other STD. Make STD test a habit.